Video content hooks people in faster than any other content type. Our brains are trained to respond to motion, simple as that. (Video also takes less mental effort to process, so there’s that, too.)
However you feel about video content, studies indicate that it’s only going to grow more prevalent as the Digital Age marches on. And that’s not inherently good or bad, it just is. Though, if you’re on the fence about what video content can do for your business, here’s our expert opinion:
Video content is an incredibly powerful marketing & sales tool.
So with that in mind, let’s dive into how you can create and capitalize on video for your business.
1. Know your company to know your platform(s).
Not every platform is right for your company. Maybe only one is, or two… or ten.
Every social media platform has a unique audience. The message you deliver needs to be tailored to the general audience associated with that platform.
Like any business decision, choosing the right social outlets for your company should “Start with WHY,” as Simon Sinek says. Start with the WHY (purpose) to figure out the HOW (process) to get to the WHAT (outcome).
PRO TIP: When choosing the platforms for your company, make sure the members of your selection committee 1) deeply know your company and 2) have an adequate understanding of the current social platforms and their associated audiences.
2. Be concise. Be you. Be effective.
Attention spans are shortening and content standards are rising. Your content must have an immediate hook and then quickly build on that hook. Now more than ever, today’s content-saturated world requires you to consistently produce effective content to make a lasting impression.
So what is effective content? Take a note from Gary Vaynerchuk’s playbook and 1)”Stick to what comes naturally…” and 2) “If you’re not getting [the results] you want, it’s not effective content.”
That isn’t to say that everything needs to be snack-sized. Longer posts can be effective, too. You just better make sure you have a lot of quality things to say. Filler content is useless. Get rid of it and stick with substance. If you have little substance, post that. If you have a lot of substance, figure out if it would be more effective to break it up or post it all at once.
Never lose sight of the fact that you should always be posting with a purpose.
PRO TIP: On more professional platforms, such as LinkedIn and—dare we say—Twitter, your viewer probably isn’t watching for a cinematic experience… they’re looking for useful information and they want you to get to the point.
3. Use elements of storytelling to engage and impact your audience.
Margaret Atwood famously said “You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built in the human plan. We come with it.” Storytelling is a unique force that connects people—across continents, cultures, generations, and so on. There’s a huge difference between bland marketing statements versus the blend of creativity, emotion, and plot that is storytelling.
Every brand is telling a story, whether they realize it or not. But the art of storytelling is something more powerful and more effective than many companies realize. Carmine Gallo, author of The Storyteller’s Secret, conducted extensive research on this and discovered that “neuroscientists are finding that what passes as a typical presentation is usually the worst way to engage your audience.”
Take a note from our previous article on 5 Ways Tech Has Changed Marketing: “When it comes to marketing to today’s audience, you won’t get very far by simply outlining your sales pitch and slapping your logo on it. Today’s consumers expect ads to be well-branded and contain useful content. In this case, useful means anything from informative to entertaining. Whether we’re talking about print or digital advertising, always aim for creating share-worthy material.”
Who wants to sit through another typical sales presentation? Or read one more annual report that presents dry facts and figures? Storytelling is the antidote to a disengaged audience.
So… what story do you want your company to tell? Are you telling that story well?
4. Your audience is mobile… make sure you are, too.
More than 50% of all video content is viewed on smartphones and tablets. Your audience is no exception, especially if they are younger.
It’s possible that a large portion of your audience uses desktop. However, it’s still important to optimize your video content for mobile devices. Why? Because studies show that mobile audiences—which are already massive—are exponentially growing.
How to optimize your video content for mobile devices:
- Make your visuals simple and eye-catching. Your graphics should be big and bold enough to engage someone through a smaller screen. It’s good practice to watch them on your mobile device before publishing, that way you’re more in tune with the experience you’re creating.
- Make sure it’s effective without sound. It’s been reported that on Facebook and YouTube, over 85% of videos are watched with the sound off. That alone should make you think about how you create your video content.
- Make sure you know the current platform requirements. Every platform is a little different, so wherever you’re posting, be sure to know what size, ratio, and orientation works best. How big can the file be? What ratio? Square? Vertical? Your purpose and your platform will answer those questions. Sprout has a handy cheatsheet that gets updated pretty regularly: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-video-specs-guide/
5. Use Analytics to Track Results & Calibrate
No video content strategy is complete without analytics. They are one of the key lenses for analyzing the effectiveness of your content.
Typical factors for analysis hinge on how your audience interacts with the video content you produce. Here are a few good questions to ask:
- How long are people watching your videos? 5 seconds? 30 seconds? Start to finish?
- What platforms do my videos work best on? On what platforms are my videos not performing well?
- What’s the pattern of success when it comes to the topics and visual style of the videos you’re producing? AKA: What videos are effective?
After you’ve gathered your data and analyzed it, now it’s time to calibrate your video content. When possible, make measurable changes to your video—edits that you can actually track and determine whether “they worked.”
Conclusion: Video content is great for any company’s marketing and sales strategy.
Maybe this was a wakeup call for some of you, or maybe it was a rallying cry for you video veterans… either way, go forth and create effective video content! (Or give Wenzel Creative a call and we’ll help you out… strategy, storytelling, visuals—we’ve got you covered.)
Stay creative, friends.
Want some help with telling your company’s story? Let’s connect!